Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance system overview

Oracle ZFS Storage uses mechanical and flash storage. The ZS3-2 and ZS4-4 models offer a variety of software for storage management, encryption and security.

The Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance is designed for mid-tier NAS environments. The line has two products, the ZS3-2 and ZS4-4, that have variable setup options and a wide range of configurations. Oracle ZFS products support mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs) for data, and flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs) for metadata and write acceleration.

The Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2 fits up to 184 serial-attached SCSI (SAS) HDDs in capacities of 300 GB, 900 GB and 4 TB, for a maximum 736 TB of storage per single node. Drives are arranged in 24-slot disk shelves. Unlike many NAS arrays, the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance does not support data SSDs. Instead, Oracle implemented a memory capacity of 1 TB per node, a read flash cache capacity of 12.8 TB and 28 TB of write flash using write accelerators. Write accelerators are drives that store the contents of the ZFS Intent Log (ZIL). Products support 1.6 TB SSDs for the read cache and 300 GB SSDs for the write accelerators.

The ZS3-2 supports up to four write flash accelerators per disk shelf. It can have four or eight 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Base-T ports depending on configuration. It runs on up to four eight-core Intel Xeon processors, and nodes can be clustered as high as 3.1 PB.

Write operations to ZFS Storage drives are atomic, meaning they are either performed completely or not at all.

The Oracle ZFS Storage ZS4-4 fits up to 544 SAS HDDs in capacities of 900 GB and 4 TB, for a maximum 2.1 PB of storage per single node. Drives are arranged in 24-slot disk enclosures, with support for up to four write accelerators per enclosure. The array can have up to eight 10 GbE Base-T ports, and runs on eight 15-core Intel Xeon processors and up to 3 TB of memory. ZS4-4 nodes can be clustered as high as 6.9 PB.

ZIL is an intent logging feature designed to increase data availability on ZFS platforms. Write operations to ZFS Storage drives are atomic, meaning they are either performed completely or not at all. A record of each operation -- known as the "intent to perform" -- is logged to the ZIL before it occurs. In the event of a power failure, the system will read the intent log to detect which operations were in process when the failure occurred and either revert or redo them. The ZIL is stored on flash-based SSDs, providing faster write performance than if it was written to mechanical HDDs.

In addition to ZIL, the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance includes software for storage management, monitoring and encryption. The ZFS Storage Software has features such as thin provisioning, monitoring and analytics, support for iSCSI and Fibre Channel interconnects, and replication within local ZFS Storage clusters. Additional software can be licensed separately for remote replication, AES 256-/192-/128-bit encryption and database backup. The ZFS Storage Appliance is tuned to work with Oracle databases, and its software includes the Snap Management Utility for Oracle Database and the Oracle Enterprise Manager Plug-in for Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance.

Pricing for the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance depends on configuration. Pricing for the ZS3-2 model ranges from $35,600 to $314,600, while the cost of the ZS4-4 is between $135,600 and $988,900. All ZFS Storage products come with a one-year limited hardware warranty with phone support during local business hours. Response times are tiered by severity: Severity 1 has a four-hour response time, Severity 2 has an eight-hour response time and Severity 3 has a next-business-day response. An optional premier warranty provides 24/7 technical support and two-hour on-site support. Oracle's advanced support package provides further features such as 24/7 monitoring, system installation and support.

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